The biggest trend in the wholesale luxury watch industry today is to produce products that look like watches that brands think the market wants to buy. In some fundamental ways, this is the opposite of the more traditional (if nostalgic) approach to design for a brand that aims to bring unique (i.e. unique) watch products to the market (rather than those that feel too familiar) market designed. ). Today, if a style, material, color or price point looks hot, the biggest brands want a piece of it. Quality branded steel or mostly steel watches with integrated bracelets are hot these days. Chopard’s answer to this craze was the Alpine Eagle. All in all, it’s an everyday-wear luxury watch that’s good-looking, well-crafted, affordable, and overly branded.
Chopard has every right to enter the realm of contemporary bracelet watches with a brand new product (that is, a product that looks like an old one). Chopard has acquired sensuality through its pedigree in Geneva, through the legitimacy of its luxury sports watches and Haute Horlogerie LUC collections, and through its various celebrity relationships and success in women’s jewelry. Consumers shouldn’t be surprised that the brand’s products are competing in a space that includes the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Patek Philippe Nautilus, Rolex Submariner (yes) and some upcoming new contenders, each with their own “bracelet watch” “.
Deciding to produce a luxurious “sport” steel watch (although in this review I saw the two-tone Alpine Eagle in Lucent Steel and 18k rose gold) was only half the battle, as Chopard still had to decide what it would look like. Chopard is delighted to have present the new line of Alpine Eagle watches here. In that article, our David Bredan explains in detail the Alpine Eagle and its design inspiration, a vintage bracelet watch by Chopard called the St. Mortiz. David’s article is where you should know the background of this watch, as well as its more intimate technical details. This Chopard Alpine Eagle review is my assessment of its greater desirability and its positioning in the competing product space.
I wore the dual-tone Alpine Eagle for a long time and then waited a while to post a review. When that happens, it means I’m not quite sure how to best summarize my experience with the watch, especially if I’ve had a positive experience with a product that’s known to be controversial. Is Mountain Eagle Controversial? No less than any other new high-end luxury watch, but it’s Chopard’s most important release of 2019, and it’s probably a platform on which the company will continue to invest in it for at least five to ten years (at least, I hope). A major problem for people who don’t like the Alpine Eagle is that they think it looks too much like a Royal Oak or other similar watch. now it’s right. People don’t care about price or quality; their only complaint with the Alpine Eagle is that it looks a bit like another popular watch.
Let’s look at this from the point of view that is most beneficial to Chopard – because the logic makes sense. First, let’s start with an important rule of the luxury watch industry (and other “design” industries): Original and creative designs are almost universally shunned or criticized at first because they are new. By definition, there are far fewer design ideas that are familiar, but more accessible to consumers. This is a hard and fast rule. What might happen is that over time, if a novel design ends up being a good design—that is, it stands the test of time, it might end up being adopted. Not all novel designs become classics, but all good novel designs have the potential to become classics if they exist long enough. In the world of design, albeit a simplification, it’s a good rule of thumb.
In this case, Chopard cheap could choose to create a new watch called the Alpine Eagle and design it to look like never before. By doing so, they might allow critics to celebrate the enduring elegance of their watches 10 years later and engage in an uphill battle with well-deserved stubborn luxury watch consumers in the first few years. Option two is Chopard said, “We know we want to get into bracelet watches, but we also don’t want to wait a few years to be profitable. Let’s make a product that matches market expectations and themes and see how it works. If it works, then in the future With each iteration of the , we improve it and make it more distinctive.” Such remarks may well be in the minds of Chopard’s managers, and there is nothing wrong with that in itself. Like I said, the Alpine Eagle is a well made product. So they did succeed on many levels.
Also, I wanted to put “design originality” in some context. It’s easy to claim that So-and-so copied Gerald Genta and that So-and-so watch model was just trying to look like a Royal Oak. If you look back at many bracelet watches from the 1970s and 1980s, they also looked similar at the time. Perhaps there simply aren’t that many practical ways to produce a timepiece with an integrated bracelet. You might think the Alpine Eagle looks too much like a Royal Oak. It’s true that there are similarities, but the same is true of Chopard St. Moritz and countless other watches of that era.
For the rest of the Alpine Eagle, Chopard has simply taken a cross-section of various manufacturing techniques, as well as some of their brand’s visual DNA, and attempted to combine timepiece and jewelry polish into one satisfying product. What items in the “Bracelet Watch” category have in common is a lot of shiny surfaces. As a result, Alpine Eagle’s contrasting polished and brushed surfaces are mostly flat, which helps them work well with light. The unmistakable sparkle you want from a luxury watch is definitely part of the Alpine Eagle experience.
Chopard definitely missed a chance to work with Alpine Eagle. Nothing in the bracelet watch rulebook says you have to have screws on the bezel or that you have to have sides. Alas, Alpine Eagle has both. They certainly did a good job (and the screws were all lined up correctly), but they felt compelled. I know the original St. Mortiz watch also had bezel screws, but I’m just saying that since this design feature is used so often, the brand needs to highlight them in a very original way.
The 41mm wide case (a 36mm wide female model is also available) is a good all-purpose size, and the case thickness also manages to be less than 10mm (water resistant to 100 meters), allowing for a slim wrist profile. I would say the bezel (18k rose gold here) looks a bit like a scratch magnet (especially due to the brushed finish). Aesthetically, it looks gorgeous, but I can’t help but feel that Chopard might consider scratch-resistant metal alloys, ceramics, or other materials for the bezels of some future Alpine Eagle models.
Worrying about wear and tear on a watch is reserved for making the most perfect timepiece. So it just means that I admire the enormous effort that goes into polishing each alpine eagle. This steel is not regular 316L stainless steel, but something called A223 Lucent Steel, which is whiter in color and has a unique finish. It definitely helps the Alpine Eagle reflect light in some really attractive ways.
Another beauty of replica Alpine Eagle is the bracelet. Its visual design isn’t to everyone’s taste, but the tight tolerances and overall engineering are truly impressive. Unfortunately, it all started with the original St. Moritz watch, but for the Alpine Eagle, Chopard really put the bracelet on steroids and overdrive for a very refined and flawless jewelry style bracelet. This is probably my favorite part of the watch. The bracelet is elegantly closed with a “mysterious” hidden deployant clasp. However, it’s nice to see a fine-tuning feature or similar system that, in addition to convenience, can help Chopard have more of a functional edge over the competition.
Grand Seiko helped remind the watch world that everyone loves a good dial texture. Chopard has created a new spiral deep sunburst dial for this Alpine Eagle watch in grey tones. This (or similar look) may have been used on some older Chopard watches, and the texture really helps give the watch dial a lot of character. The hybrid indexes and Roman numeral hour markers are legible and filled with Super-LumiNova – but they don’t have much personality beyond their functional value. Hands are strong, athletic and well-proportioned. They also look like their cousins (compliments) made in the same factory as the latest generation Royal Oak hands, with angled edges.
One of the best features on the dial is the date window. Not that this is a terribly exciting complication, but you can see how clearly Chopard struggled to make it look as clean and harmonious as possible. The result is a custom date disc with custom date fonts and colors. The window is custom positioned and has a custom shape. While we’ve all seen date windows before, Chopard took the pains to design an entirely new window just to make it look right for the Alpine Eagle. While some of the Alpine Eagle’s design philosophies can be confused from time to time, this watch isn’t subject to a series of very attentive glances to ensure it stands out in the market.
Inside the Chopard Alpine Eagle is one of the brand’s in-house movements – Caliber 01.01-C. Slim 4Hz self-winding movement with a power reserve of up to 60 hours. You can also view the movement through the caseback window. The movement is very respectable, but it is not from the most exquisite collection of movements produced by Chopard. Besides Ferdinand Berthoud, Chopard LUC movements are the best looking.
You can buy a LUC watch with Alpine Eagle money, but the base movement of the Alpine Eagle is the same as the Classic Racing models (those with in-house movements). Knowing how lovely the LUC calibre looks, it’s hard not to want that level of finishing of the 01.01-C calibre. Again, assuming the Alpine Eagle collection is a hit, there’s no reason Chopard couldn’t play around with and include a variety of movements in future models.
Another way to see the Alpine Eagle as a luxury watch market product is a vibrant love letter to the Royal Oak. It doesn’t want to be a Royal Oak per se, but it wants to live up to Royal Oak standards and be recognized by the same group of people. To do this, Chopard will have to go beyond just writing a visual love letter to the Genta icon – it has to replicate the years when the Royal Oak really hit the market, and it has to give it before enough consumers try to adopt it Time Alpine Eagles into their timepiece collection.
Chopard offers a great motivating factor for early Alpine Eagle adopters, and that is price. The all-steel Alpine Eagle is especially attractively priced compared to the Patek Philippe 5711 Nautilus. It is also more expensive than the Royal Oak. Personally, I really appreciate this watch and sincerely hope Chopard invests in giving the collection the patience and personality it needs to be successful.
The men’s Alpine Eagle line of releases (currently outnumbering women’s styles by a wide margin) consists of only three styles. One is an all-steel with a blue dial (predictably true, but still a valid palette), then the same model, but with a grey dial (like this two-tone model).